There's been some talk around here about sausage balls.
~Chef JimmyJ heard of em, but thought it might be a bad recipe. I owe him big time for all the learning he's helped me with.
~I promised Smoking B I'd make some with deer sausage, but I don't think I have enough fat content to pull it off. Next time!
~KathrynN knows how good sausage balls are, her recipe is a little different than mine but pretty much the same thing. I bet she'll share her recipe too. C'mon Lady Kat lets show em how we play with our... food!
So I made some this morning for breakfast just so I could take lots of pics and share in detail with you folks.
They are a finger food, and are almost always at every baby shower, wedding shower, and football party where I'm from. Everybody knows how to make these tasty treats! And if you don't, you gotta learn because these balls are totally BA!
Here are the ingredients I use:
~1 pound of Jimmy Dean sausage. I once used some other brand of sausage and the balls did not turn out right. It's all about the fat content, so if you use another brand try to compare it to JD sausage. In another thread Chef JimmyJ did some math, and figured JD sausage was approximately 40% fat content.
~10-12oz shredded cheddar cheese. I once used a nice expensive dairy farm cheddar, I don't know what the difference is, but the expensive cheese messed up this recipe. The cheese in the picture is from Sams, and comparable to Kraft brand or any of the generics at the grocery store. This go around I sliced off a chunk that weighed a little under 12oz, called it good, and grated it up with the largest hole grate.
~A couple of splashes of hot sauce. I like Louisiana brand or Cajun Chef, they are a little less hot than Tabasco, but a bit more flavorful. Louisiana hot sauce pours out more fluid than Tabasco in a shake, if I were using Tabasco I'd prolly use about 8 splashes.
~3 cups of Bisquick. Bisquick is self-rising flour with the shortening already cut in. I've never tried any other biscuit mix, nor have I tried making my own biscuit flour for this recipe.
~Preheat oven to 350*. Get all your ingredients measured out, and have your lipped cooking pan ready. Turn the oven on, letting it preheat while you prepare the goodness. You'll bake them for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
Roll up your sleeves, because you are gonna have to mix by hand. Trust me, I love my mixers. I have a KA and a lazy susan turn table mixer I use for just about everything. But for some reason if you use an electric mixer this recipe doesn't turn out right.
First you want to mix the raw sausage and cheese together.
Take as long as you need, make sure it's mixed really good.
Then add your hot sauce.
This pic is after I mixed the sausage and cheese together, and splashed the hot sauce on. I haven't mixed the hot sauce in so you could see how much I used. I guess a couple of teaspoons.
Next add your Bisquick. I dump all 3 cups in at once. Don't mix too long here though, just mix till it's combined. Like this:
If you over mix your finished product will be hard.
One of my favorite kitchen tools is my cookie scooper! It's like a little ice cream scooper, it measures out about 1TBS of dough, or batter. For sausage balls I pack the scoop, empty it in my hand, and lightly roll it in a round shape.
I'm a parchment paper kind of girl, but I was out. I didn't grease the pan, I don't think you are supposed to, but I did have to pry them a bit in the end. If I had used parchment paper, they would have slid right off.
At this point my oven beeped letting me know it was preheated. So while the tray of sausage balls were cooking, I rolled up the rest of them, put them in a tupperware, and let them freeze.
After they sat in the freezer for a couple of hours, I put them in a foodsaver bag. This batch yielded 43 balls.
If you toss the raw dough in a bag without letting them freeze separately, they will stick together, freeze that way, and may be a beast to pull apart when you are ready to cook them. Learn from my mistakes. ;p
When I am ready to cook them from frozen state, no need to let them defrost, just pop em in a preheated oven at 350* and it will just take about 5 minutes longer to cook them than normal. Easy!
I pulled my balls out after 22 minutes in the oven, and placed them on a dry paper towel.
Make sure you use a lipped pan, especially if you are using a different brand sausage. You don't want to have to clean cooked on grease from the bottom of your oven. Mine didn't make much grease tho, it all cooked in the dough. MmmMmmm!
Here is a pic of the bottom of a sausage ball:
For breakfast, garnish with Louisiana Community brand coffee :) I used left over purple sugar from a King Cake I baked to sweeten this cup.
That piece in the center is bitten in half if you'd like to look at the center.
My husband's plate is garnished with remoulade sauce, a.k.a. Cajun Ketchup.
That sauce came from Raising Cane's- one of these days I'll have to try to reverse engineer their sauce.
So there it is, I hope my instructions are comprehensible, I'm not the best literary composer. ;p
FYI- I got a couple of whole chickens defrosting. I'll be smoking them in a few days at around 325*, I plan on trying to smoke those frozen balls along with them too. I will definitely post the results and let everyone know how they turn out.